On the Feast of St. John Vianney Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn. told the Knights of Columbus that bishops and priests are in solidarity with them on “the path of salvation.”
“Just as you, dear members of the family of the Knights of Columbus, stand in solidarity with the Holy Father, your bishops, and your priests, so too we stand in solidarity with you, in a solidarity of that love which overflows from the heart of Jesus and leads us and our loved ones to joys of everlasting life,” Bishop Lori said at the fraternal order’s Aug. 4 memorial Mass for all deceased Knights of Columbus.
The Mass was part of the Knights of Columbus’ Supreme Convention, which was held in Denver Aug. 2-4. Bishop Lori is Supreme Chaplain of the fraternal charitable organization, which has 1.8 million members worldwide.
Bishop Lori in his homily called the Feast of St. John Vianney a “powerful reminder” for bishops and priests about their state as “fellow pilgrims” who must seek forgiveness of their sins and holiness in their own lives.
“Indeed our salvation is inextricably bound up with yours. As your bishops and priests, we know the Lord is going to ask us at our judgment whether or not we were gave our lives in union with Christ for the salvation of others,” the bishop said. “So this morning, we meet again in the shared hope that all of us and all of those who have gone before us in faith will see the Triune God face to face and rejoice in his presence forever.”
The life of St. John Vianney is a reminder “that Christ, in his love for us, endowed his Church with all means of our salvation and that the Holy Spirit has poured into our hearts a love that is stronger than sin and more powerful than death.”
The bishop said St. John Vianney’s life was “consumed with saving souls.”
“The overarching goal of his life was helping his parishioners and many of those who flocked to his little parish in the village of Ars, France, to undergo conversion, to grow in holiness and to become fit for eternal life in heaven,” he explained.
He recounted how St. John Vianney, also known as the Cure of Ars, lived in a desolate, small church in a town where the practice of the Catholic faith had fallen off in the wake of the French Revolution. Few people were catechized and few went to confession regularly.
“It sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it?” Bishop Lori asked.
The saint in his ministry warned his parishioners against “everything that would threaten their salvation” while also “opening their hearts to the love of Christ” in the Mass and in Eucharistic Adoration.
The same “hope of eternal life” and “zeal for souls” motivated Knights of Columbus founder Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney and the Cristeros martyrs of Mexico, who included Knights of Columbus who are canonized saints, the bishop added.
Bishop Lori specifically mentioned Knights of Columbus Supreme Secretary, Emilio Moure, who recently died of cancer. He asked for prayers for all deceased knights.
“Filled with hope and in the deepest spirit of charity, unity, and fraternity, let us commend them to the Lord!” his homily concluded.